"Matinee" Outtakes II
In my early days, my manager Kathleen used to always tell me to cherish the ability to chart my own course because it wouldn't always be possible. I would reply with laughter and scorn. Surely the highest calling of a pop writer would be writing to order, under deadline. Like The Beatles or J.S. Bach.
Well, it ain't 1964 anymore and it sure ain't no Baroque period. Being a pop writer now is disgusting. I wouldn't attempt it again for any money. It's sick and bad. A bad instinct. A bad course to take in a society like ours, unless you are able to completely detach yourself from your output. Music is the windowdressing of culture, the frame; so that would make music now like a velvet pillow upon which a steaming turd is lovingly arranged. Look at those motherfucking car ads with those Who and Zeppelin songs. Jesus Christ.
Look at what we're doing. Look at who we're elevating to the top of the music heap. How could you derive any satisfaction from success when it's such a fucking race to the bottom? When it's a lottery?
Don't get me wrong; I don't particularly idealize any period in pop music. But all the artists I love are proud of what they've done. Even Lennon. How can these people be proud of what they're doing? It's foul. Foul. Music to wipe your ass with and then flush.
"Drunken Ramble" Yeah, this was originally the outro of "Maybe Next Time". S'funny. If you're not familiar with "Maybe Next Time" you can click over there to the right. And down. Or where ever th' fuck it is over there. Blogger likes to play li'l games.
Ned posted this once last year as a warning to anyone who would combine alcohol and recording. Truly a cautionary thing.
"Song For The Weary" This is the original piano/vocal live run through of what would become a string quartet tour de force. What's that? I can't refer to my own song as a tour de force?
You fucking try it. Go on. Here's your pencil. Bottom note on a viola is C. Don't forget to write it in alto clef.
Recorded in my apartment in Imperial Beach CA in the last days of pre-9.11. I was doing production for th' Del Rays and sometimes I'd do a piano/vocal set before they came on. This song came to me because I was doing "Let It Be" in some fantastic old fucking theatre in Balboa Park and I was like I want to have my own song like this that I can play. I can just kick that old piano stool out and turn on th' waterworks. I went a little overboard with the "Maybe I'm Amazed" bridge but I think the "And don't forget that even Joan of Arc got burned that time" line steers it firmly away. Sometimes these things just have to be permitted. There are ideas that you steal and ideas that someone else just had before you and this is of th' latter. If you want to hear me steal just listen to "Like Dying" after listening to that atrocious "November Rain" by Guns 'n' Roses. I was on that shit like a spider on a turd-stuffed fly.
My all-time favorite playing experiences are always about getting pushed over to the piano at a party and unfurling a huge and unexpected tapestry of drama. It's the push that validates it. There has to be the push.
"Dreams" This is an ancient song. An utter relic from '90 or '91. I always wanted to re-record it and when I went digital in '03 it was time. This is an eccentric piece of music. It's almost Byrdsy by way of Black Orpheus. I think this got bottom-drawered because the vocal just isn't that great. The end of the middle eight sort of peters out. One night when I'm cooking I'll just spool this up and get the keeper. Cool bass on this. Fuck it. I'll recut the whole thing again someday live.
"LA Lullabye" I guess this is just sort of duff to me. Very crafty indeed, though. These background vocals are on a par with any of my most Queen-like. I keep trying to write a great LA song because it's an incredibly compelling and dramatic place. There are few things as great as a great LA song, like "Babylon Sisters" or Ferry's "Can't Let Go". You gotta name some streets and some places and you gotta do it first person and it has to be real.
I had the idea for this the first time we bunked it in the car between gigs. Hit a side street in Santa Monica and lights out. Then you wake up and hit the beach and eat brunch in an Italian place on the walking street and maybe find an import of "Discipline" and then east on Pico for soundcheck. I liked the idea of sending out a soothing song to all the other foolish youngsters that were making a go, sleeping in vehicles, sleeping on stages, not sleeping.
Some decent electronics on this. The bridges are pretty, especially the second one with the Andrews Sisters harmonies. The verses and bridges are supposed to be night time in Hollywood and the choruses are standing on a hill at noon in Palos Verdes or driving west on th' 10. Fuzz bass. Phase galore.